The Case Against The Seahawks Trading Earl Thomas

The Case Against The Seahawks Trading Earl Thomas

Seattle cannot afford to lose another veteran star.
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The Seattle Seahawks have a serious dilemma on their hands. The decision whether to trade star safety Earl Thomas or not looms over the organization like a raincloud. There are both pros and cons to losing Earl Thomas, but it is clear that the cons outweigh the pros.

The Seahawks have been in a precarious situation ever since the midway point of the 2017 season. The team suffered season-ending injuries to a number of key players in Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and top 2017 Seattle pick Malik McDowell before ending the year with a disappointing 9-7 record.

The Seahawks were very tight against the NFL’s salary cap and had to make some moves to clear up space. Defensive end Michael Bennett was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane were released, and a number of key players departed in free agency, including defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, wide receiver Paul Richardson and tight end Jimmy Graham. While cap space was gained, players at key positions were lost, which created a lot of holes for the Seahawks to deal with.

At the end of the season, they had voids at offensive line, pass rush and tight end. Sherman’s subsequent release from the team only created another hole at cornerback. In addition, Seattle currently lacks a second- and third-round pick for the 2018 NFL Draft, which they gave away in the trades for Sheldon Richardson and offensive tackle Duane Brown. Many NFL analysts have suggested that the Seahawks should trade Thomas to regain draft picks and save money since Thomas wishes to be paid handsomely this offseason. While this sounds appealing, there are compelling reasons why Seattle should not give in unless they receive a sizable return in draft picks or standout players.

First of all, Earl Thomas is one of the best safeties in the NFL and is currently in the prime of his career. He is a six-time Pro Bowler, three-time First-team All-Pro, and two-time Second-team All-Pro. A player of that caliber is not easily replaced and it is not ideal to see him on another team. He has suffered injuries at a more consistent rate in recent years, but his play is still solid and not many safeties, if any, can replicate it.

There is also the matter of the current safety market; there are only a few elite ones in the NFL and none are currently free agents. Dealing Thomas will only create another hole for the team at safety. Finally, Thomas has stated that he wants to remain in Seattle and retire there.

Despite telling Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett to “come get me” at the end of Seattle’s Week 16 game against the team, Thomas later clarified in his post-game interview, saying that he wanted Dallas to acquire him when the Seahawks “kick me to the curb” and stated that he still wanted to be in Seattle.

There are positives to come from trading Earl Thomas, but the Seahawks are much more likely to be on the short end of the stick if such a trade is executed unless they receive a king’s ransom in return.

Cover Image Credit: Merson | Wikimedia Commons

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn't sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It's obvious your calling wasn't coaching and you weren't meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn't have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn't your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that's how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “It's not what you say, its how you say it."

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won't even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don't hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That's the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she's the reason I continued to play."

I don't blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn't working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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